Iron Wig Final Round: Character Wig, Tutorial, and RIT Dye Challenge

Character Wig

I let my son choose which pop culture character I would create for this wig, and he surprised me by picking a character from my own books. This is Lokki, from Ninja High School Hawaii and Aesir Corp.

Her design is actually very difficult to reproduce, probably because I created her before I started making wigs, and didn’t know what a pain in the butt I was drawing for future costumers. Her design includes several advanced techniques, which were only compounded by using heat resistant fiber, and the limitations in starting materials provided for the contest. Because of this, I decided to do her violet shade instead of the more common navy blue. (Her hair changes colors throughout the story.)

Tutorial Wig

I asked for visitors to my Facebook Page to give me suggestions for the tutorial they wanted to see. The one I selected is based on the concept of a “quick change” wig, which uses a special hidden compartment, called a “transformation pocket”. I had created trick wigs for shows before, but this was my first time creating a tutorial for the process.

RIT Dye Challenge Wig

For this wig, we were required to use the RIT Proline Dye that was sent to us to color our design. Please note that we were not sent DyeMore which is RIT’s product for synthetic fabrics. As it was explained to me by Arda’s rep, this is because they are unable to ship liquids to the EU, and DyeMore only comes in a liquid form.

Now, I was skeptical that this dye would work on synthetic wig fiber, based on my testing of the version for synthetic fabrics done over a decade ago. But I’m a scientifically minded lady when it comes to wig products, and was willing to put this one through its paces just in case there had been a major breakthrough in their formula that had alleviated the issues it suffered from before. (Heat damage to the fiber, failure to bond pigment, continuous rub-off.) I love to do testing, pushing products to the limits, and thinking beyond the package instructions to see what I can do with them. My conclusion after the controlled experiments and field testing is this: RIT Proline Dye is not suitable for dyeing synthetic fiber wigs. I shared my results with Arda as something to consider before they begin selling this as a “wig dye”.

I used three different delivery methods for this wig: the stovetop package instructions (for the red), a scattered pellet approach (for the green), and a spray-on alcohol hybrid (for the blue).

It took about eight days to make this wig, and four days to clean up the mess. Even now, a month later, I’m still finding dye residue in unexpected places.